THAI LAWYERS NOT ALL ARE GOOD
ASIA TRADING POST NEWS
We hear many stories of lawyers ripping off foreigners in Thailand and as per usual there are good and bad lawyers. The hard part is getting a good one but now there are new law offices with foreign lawyers. The laws of Thailand are a lot different from the west and with this means you must be content to add up the costs and time if they have a litigation against someone or some company etc. Don't think just bcause its cheap living thats litigation is a cheap process and even marriage divorces may cost 100,000baht and above in costs. It depends on the degree of work a lawyer must do to find and then file the required documentation. One must be patient but be prepared. The legal fee structure can be similar to the west but in Thailand lawyers will want an upfront payment. On top of that they will want a commission for a "Success fee" if the poutcome of the litigation is on your favour. This could be 10-50% of the total payment due to you. The important things is to note the stages one must take and ASK BEFORE YOU GO AHEAD.
If you are owed money from some person and you decide to file litigation against them here are some guidelines to consider. A judgement doesn't mean that the person owing will still pay you. If they have no money then you still have a problem. If the person is a foreigner then he may leave the country. If you have no proof or contracts then don't try.
1/. ASK THE COSTS & STEPS FIRST???
2/. If you are a a tourist and have a timeframe to leave then you must decide if the case is quick or drawn out. You may be up for many Court appearances or your lawyers and frustrated at the timeframes as these are slow.
3/. Ask the lawyer if he/she has undertaken this work before? & waht happens of the person defaults.
4/. Normally if the other party agrees then a judgement from the Court is applied for a date so always wait for any further payment to the lawyer in case of default.
5/. Cases can take up to 5-6 years. The litigated person can draw the case out by postponing court appearances then bringing in witnesses.
6/. Up front costs will start at 30,000 baht min. Then Court sittings and paperwork will cost 5000 baht to 10,000 baht a shot. Lawyers may also ask for another payment before the case is final especially if the person defaults. They then need to put a lien on any property the litigated person may have??
7/. Check from other foreigners or freinds about who is a good lawyer. If you have time go on one of the forums and ask.
8/. Many lawyers will double costs for foreigners so if you have a Thai partner ask them to lay the facts to the lawyers first.
9/. Most lawyers want cash and not show on their tax. To keep things above board try to ask that you get a Company receipt. More often then not they will then offer you 2 costs: one for cash the other for tax??
10/. Make sure you do have sufficient funds and time
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